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Car recycling outlook in Europe ‘remains good’

More than 70 million cars were produced worldwide last year. Although global production is down somewhat lately (-1.5%), over 6 million vehicles are discarded in the EU alone every year. These cars generate up to 9 million tonnes of waste per annum, according to speakers at the recent International Automobile Recycling Congress.

Around 56% of delegates attending the annual International Automobile Recycling Congress (IARC) view the economic situation of the car recycling sector as ‘favourable’. Another 30% of the 315 survey participants indicate that ‘not much has changed’ since last year.

More or less cars?

The volume of cars ready for recycling will ‘strongly increase’ over the next two years. This was the conclusion of more than 40% of automotive recycling stakeholders gathered in Vienna last week. Event organiser ICM adds that approximately 35% of delegates expect car volumes to ‘grow steadily’, while the rest anticipates a dip in end-of-life vehicles.

Meanwhile, 46% of survey participants described the current volume as positive. Some 40% see market quantities as similar to volumes witnessed the last two years. Only 13% of the attendees reported ‘negative’ volume trends in day-to-day business.

Familiar problems

The economic outlook in Europe ‘remains good’, so the IARC Industrial Barometer 2019 concludes. And yet, delegates agree that the pace of growth will probably diminish somewhat in the course of the current year.

It is clear to recycling specialists which unresolved issues are curbing industry potential. For instance, a great number of discarded vehicles is still being exported to countries with lower waste disposal standards. Besides, recyclers are facing inconsistent legal requirements among EU states. Moreover, recyclers from Germany pointed out that incineration capacities for high-calorific shredder residues are ‘increasingly lacking’.

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